The High Court of Delhi on Thursday upheld the conviction and sentence of a man convicted for raping his 8 year old step-daughter.
Justice Mukta Gupta dismissed the Appeal filed by the accused- Deepak, who had challenged his conviction for offences under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 376(2) (Punishment for rape of woman under 12 years of age), and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.
The accused had relied on the delay in reporting the matter to the Police, as well as alleged contradictions in the statement of the minor girl to seek acquittal. The State, on the other hand, had contended that such contradictions and improvements were not material in nature.
The Court agreed with the contentions put forth by the State and opined that since the minor girl was examined before the Court nearly one and a half years after the incident, “these minor aberrations will not discredit her otherwise reliable version.”
Therefore, upholding the conviction and sentence awarded to the accused, Justice Mukta Gupta observed, “It is well settled that even on the uncorroborated testimony of the prosecutrix if the same is reliable, conviction for an offence of rape can be based… In the present case the version of the prosecutrix is duly corroborated by her grand-mother, sister and her MLC. Further even as proved by the prosecution, the prosecutrix was in the company of the appellant since the evening of 5th February, 2010 till the morning of 6th February, 2010 and thus in terms of Section 106 of the Evidence Act onus shifts upon the appellant to explain as to how she was ravished at the time when she was in his custody, which he has miserably failed to do. Explanation of the appellant in his statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C. being bald denial on these facts and stating that he was innocent and falsely implicated does not come to his aid.”
Read the Judgment here.